Hello all and welcome to another brilliant Always Trust In Books book extract post. I am posting a piece as part of the Dark Over Steep House Blog Tour hosted by Head Of Zeus. I am grateful to be taking part, thank you HoZ! The extract I have for you today is taken from Chapter Six and it shows Detective Sidney Grice and his ward March Middleton on the hunt for a suspect. Dark Dawn Over Steep House is book five in the Gower Street Detective series. At the time of writing this post I am currently still reading the book but it is great so far!
Thanks for stopping by to check out my stop on the blog tour. There are so many more amazing blogs taking part so please see below for more stops on the blog tour. First I will share a few details about M.R.C Kasasian, the synopsis and where you can pick up a copy of the book, then onto the extract.
About M.R.C Kasasian
M.R.C. Kasasian was raised in Lancashire. He has had careers as varied as a factory hand, wine waiter, veterinary assistant, fairground worker and dentist. He lives with his wife, in Suffolk in the summer and in Malta in the winter.
London, 1884: Sidney Grice – London’s foremost personal detective – is restless. Having filed his latest case under ‘S’ for ‘Still To Be Solved’, he has returned to his book, A Brief History of Doorstep Whitening in Preston, to await further inspiration. His ward, March Middleton, remains determined to uncover the truth.
Geraldine Hockaday, the daughter of a respected Naval captain, was outraged on the murky streets of Limehouse. Yet her attacker is still on the loose.
But then a chance encounter in an overcrowded cafe brings a new victim to light, and it seems clear March and Grice are on the trail of a serial offender.
A trail that will lead them to the dining room of a Prussian Prince, the dingy hangout of an Armenian gangster, and the shadowy ruin of a once-loved family home, Steep House…
Dark Dawn Over Steep House Extract
Friday 1 August 1884
THE WINDOWS WERE boarded over and the house had obviously been empty for a long time. Dust had made heavy curtains of the cobwebs draped across the hallway and none of them had been disturbed before Sidney Grice sliced our way through with his cane.
I made to follow but he stopped with one foot on the step and his other on the threshold, and put out his arm. ‘You promised to wait outside.’
A grey mouse scuttled along the gully by my feet. ‘I have waited,’ I reminded him, ‘while you picked the lock.’
‘I shall not allow you to risk your safety.’
‘But you are risking yours,’ I pointed out, ‘and your life is worth much more than mine.’
It was rare that an appeal to my guardian’s vanity failed and I could see that he was swayed by that argument.
‘Nevertheless—’ He tipped the brim of his soft felt hat.
‘Besides which, you cannot mean to leave me outside here without a chaperone.’ I waved my furled parasol to indicate the dilapidated filth-strewn street. It was deserted and we both knew that I had been unaccompanied in far worse places than this. Mr G clicked his tongue.
‘Very well,’ he decided as the mouse doubled back and scrambled on to the roadside by my feet. ‘But you will stay close by and do exactly as I say.’
The mouse rose on its hind legs like a puppy begging titbits.
‘Probably and possibly,’ I responded to the two instructions
I found a few stale breadcrumbs in my cloak pocket – left over from feeding the pigeons – and sprinkled them on the ground. The mouse wandered away.
Sidney Grice went inside and I followed into an unfurnished, narrow, uncarpeted hallway, running alongside the wooden stairs and straight to a frosted glass-panelled door that stood a few inches ajar. The dust lay thick and gritty and there was a strong musty smell. The walls bulged with lathes breaking through the thin damp plasterwork and the ceiling sagged in the middle, bursting like a lanced boil.
‘Somebody has come in the back way.’ I pointed to the faint cleated marks on the floor, coming towards us before going off and away to mount the stairs.
‘Those are very like our man’s footprints.’
Thank you for stopping by to check out this excerpt. I appreciate all your support and until next time, happy reading.